Saturday, September 20, 2008

Can't think of a Subject. Please adjust.

Okay, first of all, the news is that Peanut has started walking. It's quite a sight because she holds her hands high up in the air and totters forward uncertainly, abandoning all pretence at grace towards the end of her sojourn, as she lurches forward and grabs at her object of desire, which is typically the sofa, or my leg. It's started. The baby has turned into the toddler, who holds on to my leg, rendering me helpless, as she turns up her face, either with unmasked adoration if I'm playing with her, or crumpled up in a plea not to leave her and go to office.


The good thing is being able to leave her at my Bua's place every morning - one of the great things about staying in the same complex. There are days when she cries when I drop her off in the morning, but of late, there have been others when she looks pretty happy to be deposited in the Bua's arms. There's just no substitute for having family around. Sometimes I wonder, though - what about later, what if we decide to go somewhere else where there is no family? But then I remember that my mother is going to probably have retired then, so we can just take her wherever. Mum, if you're reading this, start wrapping up your own life. You have to admit this is quite a fair bit of notice. I'm nothing if not fair. And selfless. And all-round wonderful. And humble.

And to my brother, the expectant father, I say 'Shusssshhhh. Remember 'Bags I?'' I've bagged her!


I have not renewed my gym membership after the first month. I think I will, but the weather has been so fine of late that I just prefer going to the park within our complex, every morning. It's really just a big garden but it's very nice and green and peaceful.

I've also discovered that I really like the feeling of openness in the mornings, rather than the stuffines of the gym. The other funny thing is that I actually prefer the company in the park - which is a bunch of old ladies and old men - to the stern and determined looking women in the gym, who are closer to my own age.

The women in the gym are strange - a couple of them are so skinny, but appear to be compulsively trying to lose weight. A few are heavy and fat and older, and I can understand why they should be there, but can't get why they treat the gym instructor Ajay as their own personal water boy ( Ajay, get me my glass from there. Ajay, pass me a tissue. Ajay, do this, do that, blah blah blah. Sheesh).

There is just one remarkably fit and good looking young woman there, but she is too hardcore for me to connect with. We were both jogging alongside on the treadmill the other day, when the lights suddenly went off and the treadmills stopped. I was just thankful it didn't throw me off balance and I wandered around in semi-darkness and lounged around, waiting for the lights to come back on. But the Fit Girl didn't miss even a beat, and went running straight out of the gym to the stairs leading up, and I soon realized she was running up and down the steps because she didn't want to break the flow of her workout.

I know, I know - she was doing the sensible thing and I was the lazy treadmill potato - but it's just that you have to see the scarily determined expression on this girl's face every morning to know you really don't want to start the day in her company.

So I think I'll continue going to the park, where the few people seem to be in a fairy peaceful and good mood. And even smile, once in a while. And where I have a good chance of running into my 92 year old grandpa out on his walk, who always greets me enthuastically and happily, almost as if he hasn't seen me in days. Just one of the key bonuses.


Peanut has developed a fascination for the 20 month old daughter of our next door neighbour. That little girl returns her affection, but her attention is more shortlived - I suppose because she has many more friends and is generally older and more worldly wise. The other day, I was getting back home with her after picking her up from my Bua's - and as I struggled with Peanut and the lock on our door, some people arrived to visit at the neighbour's, along with their own kids. As their door opened and Peanut caught sight of her little friend Sai, she tried to wriggle out of my arms and go to her. I was reluctant to let her go over because they had company over, but Sai's mom asked me to let her come in for a few minutes. Peanut walked off into their house, holding onto the hand of Sai's mom - who signalled me over after a few minutes. I walked in to fetch Peanut.

She was just standing there in the middle of the drawing room with her back to me, looking at Sai, who was darting here and there with her visiting friends. The adults were milling about, all unfamiliar faces which I barely registered. All I could see was my tiny daughter, standing uncertainly in a room full of near-strangers, looking in awe at someone who seemed to barely notice she was there. My heart went out to her in a way I haven't felt before.

I quickly walked up to her and took her by the hand and led her back home and cuddled her, bathed her, read her a book, fed her and put her to sleep.

I have no idea why this little incident was a big deal to me, but it was. Of course, it is very likely that I'm just projecting my own discomfort around strangers and social situations onto her. In fact, she was probably fine and oblivious to any such feelings. Rule number one of modern parenting - do not project your own fears, desires, hopes or anything onto your children. But how?

Damn, this parenting thing is tough.


Will end on a more uplifting note. My faux pas in my own mother tongue.

I entered the lift to my office the other day, and told the liftman ( and around 8 other witnesses) to take it to the 11th floor. Except that I, for some reason, chose to phrase it as 'Bhaiiya, Gyaarah Bajao'.

I have been made quite a bit of fun of, for this one. Almost beats my telling my driver to fetch my pants from the tailor with a 'Mera Pant uthana'

Vijay is no help though.

Y: Honey, what is Behuda?
V: Behuda is bekaar...inappropriate...improper...strange...
Y: Hmmm....okay, so it is Be-huda...without Huda...what is huda?
V: Good point. Behuda is 'without the haryana urban development authorities'
Y: Very funny. I'm just trying to understand this properly. Explain it in a sentence.
V: Yeh behuda kism ka sawaal hai.

Fine. Be like that.

And what's new with you?


  1. Hello there, this is your brother. Just to remind you about the basic rules of "bagging", when it comes to such basic issues of life, all I have to say to you is that I bagged her 3 and a half years ago before you were born! As we say " my mother is my janam-siddh adhikaar!". And Vandna says that you are 'paraya dhan' now!

  2. Hey, Peanut must be a bigger cutesie pie now walking around. And good luck on gymming. As for the role-model, yeah, sigh, parenting is tough. But I guess you've gotto remind yourselves of your theory regularly. Pics please?

  3. I like, I like: esp. the matlabi siblings bagging mom:)
    Peanut is now officially a toddler- wow!
    I'm an open spaces person myself- I get what you mean about the fitness fanatics. Scary folks, those!

  4. PS: damn - my brother uses that paraya dhan argument as and when convenient too.

  5. Your bro is right. Vijay is funny as ever. And I am still coming to terms with what you said to the liftman."Mera pant uthana" wins hands-down.

  6. peanut is walking?! yyyaayyyy!! M fondly calls V=Cubby's walk with two hands forwrad as Frankenstein walk! :p

    i so did love reading your gym stories! but am sure park stories will do juusstt fine!! :D

    as for l'il kids longing to play with other kids expecially bigger ones, it just happens! when i see cubby trying to walk behind lot older kids and then gives up and starts crawling to achieve the speed... well i just think many such chhotu haertbreaks lie ahead! but they are made of stronger stuff!

    loved the behuda dialogue! laughed loud enuff to get stared at! :p



  7. To Y and our big brother,
    Possession is nine-tenths of the law. I have mum. She is mine. You can 'Bags I' and have as many cute babies as you want. Blaaaaahhhhh.

  8. I love seeeing siblings commenting on blogs.

    Okay that comment was funny.
    I mix up alot of hindi words as well. I try to be this Ms Smarty Pants with fancy words and that too in hindi.

    Funniest example ..
    Speaking to the panditji,trying to find out how much a mundaan will cost.
    Appko kitni baksheesh dena parega..right word was dikhsa or bikhsa I think I forgot now..

  9. How they grow! I met her before she could crawl!

    And Ayaan yearns to play with older boys too. They won't give him the time of the day. I think it hurts me more than it hurts him

  10. Its Abhi again. Gitanjali Lal, you too will soon be paraya dhan! Thank you, Minka, for agreeing with me. You obviously have a high degree of intellect.
    Back to my baby sister. Don't blaah like PC Goon! You're way behind in the queue...

  11. Duh Duh - well done on your daughter walking. In all likelihood she just got so frustrated watching you walk into pillars, beds and assorted human beings that she said "Wait mother. Let me show you how it's done." and got up and walked. Try doing the pole vault in front of her, maybe she'll show you how to do that as well.

    And despite being the brute that I am, I too felt for little Peanut being deserted by Sai. If it helps - girls have been walking away from me as long as I can remember. And I still turned out just fine.

    And finally, I've heard so much about sibling rivalry - your blog is the first place where I've seen it so apparent. Well done :)

    Warm regards

    [I just felt like signing off as Mohan - it's still me]

  12. The French would say - Respondez Sil Vous Plait.

    I on the other hand would say - Respond to my comments, woman! Validate my existence.

    I was never as eloquent as the French, was I? Oui?


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